Monitoring team releases third report, says Mamasapano incident delays BBL

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The Third Party Monitoring Team monitors, reviews and assesses the implementation of agreements signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — An international group monitoring the peace process said on Friday (February 26) that the Mamasapano encounter in January 2015 has not only stopped the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) but may also make extremism more attractive to young Muslims.

Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT) head Alistair MacDonald said the Mamasapano incident has turned the sentiment of the public and political leaders against the peace process.

Related: Expert: 'Possibility of war' if Bangsamoro is derailed

The five-member team monitors, reviews, and assesses the implementation of agreements signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Also read: Bangsamoro stakeholders frustrated by government’s failure to pass BBL

The team's third annual report showed that the substitute bills from the House of Representatives and the Senate do not comply with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The Senate bill in particular is more restrictive — it changes the distribution of seats in the Bangsamoro parliament that is supposed to be established.

Macdonald said precious time has been lost because of the non-passage of the BBL but significant progress has also been made by the peace pact.

One major accomplishment was the symbolic decommissioning of high-powered weapons of the MILF and some of its fighters.

Related: Decommissioning is first step to real peace, not surrender – MILF

The monitoring team said there has so far been no violent reaction from the MILF to the failed passage of the BBL.

However, it warned this setback in the peace process could heighten the risk that extremism could become more attractive to the younger followers or members of the rebel group.

Also read: Presidential aspirants offer solutions to issues in Mindanao

Macdonald said the next administration should urgently address this to rebuild and sustain the nation's confidence on the peace process to move it forward.